BRAZEN armed robbers struck at a bank forcing an earth moving digger through a wall before threatening staff inside.
The criminal gang struck at the Atherstone branch of HSBC in Long Street yesterday afternoon in broad daylight with stunned members of the public watching on in horror as the men drove through a rear wall using the stolen digger as a battering ram.
The bold balaclava clad gang then jumped from the vehicle into the store demanding cash with at least one of the men holding a hand gun.
An eye witness who called the Nuneaton News said that he was in the Co-op store opposite the bank when the action unfolded.
“I just looked over the road and there was a JCB-type digger that was driven straight through a wall at the back of the bank,” said the onlooker.
“The robbers then ran in and, once they’d got what they came for, they came running out to a waiting getaway car.
“There was a policeman in the Co-op at the time as I think the store had called him about a shoplifter and he ran out and got the number down of the getaway car."
Warwickshire Police want to hear from anyone who witnessed the robbery which occurred shortly after 12.45pm.
A spokesperson for the force said: "Following the robbery the four drove off along Radcliffe Street in a blue BMW car, which had been reported stolen from Birmingham on Sunday.
"A short distance from the bank they stopped a silver Corsa car and forced a woman and her young child from their vehicle before driving away in it towards Polesworth. The silver Corsa was found abandoned in Spon Lane at shortly before 1.30pm."
Police would like to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in Long Street, Atherstone yesterday morning between 12.30pm and 1pm. Officers would also like to hear from anyone who saw the digger being driven to the rear of the Long Street premises, or anyone who saw the blue BMW being driven away, or who saw anyone near to the silver Vauxhall Corsa in Spon Lane.
No members of staff at the bank were injured during the armed robbery and it is believed that only a small amount of money was taken.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Bob Jamieson at Nuneaton Local Investigations on 024 7648 3184 or the new non emergency number 101 x 3184 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 where the information can be given anonymously.